Dufner opened with four consecutive birdies, but his round was derailed with a double-bogey on the fifth, as he eventually shot 3-under 67 to move into sole possession of third place entering the final round.
“It was nice to get off to that nice start,” he said. “I hit some really great shots there on the first four holes, you know, that 4- to 8-foot range, birdie looks. So it was a great way to start, and you've got to make some birdies if you're going to catch a guy who's got a nine-shot lead on you.”
Yes, therein lies the bad news for Dufner, who is eight strokes behind Woods going into the last day.
“This will be a heck of a tournament for the fans and everybody out here if he wasn't playing, but that's not the case right now,” he added. “He's the type of golfer that can do this to these golf courses, and as players you've got to try and respond with what you can to try and catch him. It's a tough task.”